EghtesadOnline: Unlike previous years when some petrochemical plants had to be shut down due to lack of feedstock in winter, natural gas in sufficient volumes from South Pars Gas Field will keep all petrochemical complexes in full operational condition, head of the National Petrochemical Company said Saturday.
"Annual gas (natural and liquefied) delivery as feedstock to 56 petrochem plants is 33 million tons used to produce derivatives such as plastics, detergents, solvents, paints, fertilizers, pesticides, synthetic fibers and rubbers," Behzad Mohammadi was quoted as saying by the Oil Ministry news portal.
Of the total feedstock, 77% is natural gas and liquefied gas accounts for the rest. The figures will reach 86% and 14% respectively by 2025, he said.
Expansion of the industry is linked directly to the stable supply of feedstock, he said, noting that providing plants with natural gas is an Oil Ministry priority because profit margins of plants that use natural gas are higher than those using liquefied fuel, according to Financial Tribune.
“Converting natural gas to added-value products is faster and more economical.”
Referring to water consumption in the sector, he said 56 petrochem plants need 300 million cubic meters of water a year, of which 250 mcm comes from the Persian Gulf and the rest (50 mcm) is piped water.
Water Treatment Approaches
Major petrochemical plants are adopting modern water treatment approaches, including zero liquid discharge (ZLD) systems, to curb water consumption.
ZLD is a process to achieve maximum water recovery from wastewater source that would otherwise be disposed. This water is reused while salts and other solids in the wastewater are discarded in a landfill.
According to Mohammad Ayazi, director for development and optimization of Energy Technology Division of the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, five petrochemical companies, namely Fajr, Maroun, Razi, Arvand and Ilam in Khuzestan and Ilam provinces have the ZLD recycling system that has significantly reduced water intake from nearby rivers.
Amid growing environmental concerns, governments are trying to devise tough regulatory measures on industrial water usage. Stringent rules are gradually producing results in water scarce areas.
Even without the regulatory push, many industries are implementing plans to reduce water discharge via recycling and ZLD to decrease their ecological footprint and improve sustainability.
Mohammadi went on to say that Fajr, Mobin, and Damavand plants in Asalouyeh and Mahshahr (in Bushehr and Khuzestan provinces) are in charge of generating power for all other plants in the region and produce close to 1,900 megawatts, of which 1,640 MW is used and the surplus is sold the national grid.
Referring to petrochemical output and revenues, he said annual production is near 66 million tons generating $17 billion annually.
“An estimated 8.5 million tons of goods are sold domestically, of which 5 million tons are offered in the international ring of Iran Energy Exchange.”
“As many as 108,000 people work for the sector,” he said, noting that adding each ton to the total production can create jobs for at least 1,000 people.
Iran is producing 350 types of petrochemicals. It has a roadmap for the quantitative and qualitative improvement in this key industry, which will increase product diversity and complete the production chain in the downstream sector.